This is the guide for the 7th Generation of Pokémon games. If you're looking to EV train in the 6th Generation, check out this guide. We also have a guide for the 5th Generation, if you're looking for that.
What are EVs?
Effort Values (commonly called EVs) are points that give your Pokémon higher stats. Each of your Pokémon's stats has an EV value associated with it, and you can gain EVs by KOing Pokémon in battles. Different Pokémon give different EVs when they're defeated. For example:
|Zygarde||+3 HP EVs|
|Minior||+1 Attack EV, +1 Defense EV|
|Lilligant||+2 Special Attack EVs|
The more EVs a Pokémon has for a particular stat, the higher that stat will be. At level 100, 4 EVs raise a stat by one point. However, a Pokémon can only have up to 510 EVs total, and the maximum number of EVs for a single stat is 252. That means that EVs can raise a single stat by up to 63 points.
In casual playthroughs, EVs are usually pretty random because you aren't able to control what Pokémon you fight against. However, for competitive battling, people strategically plan out which EVs to put on a Pokémon to maximize their battling potential. Let's look at an example using Landorus's Stats:
|Stat||No EVs||Random EVs||Competitive EVs|
Looking at the table, it's pretty clear that adding EVs definitely makes a difference in a Pokémon's stats. The question is, what's the difference between the Random EVs and Competitive EVs? Which one is better?
When you're adding EVs to a Pokémon, it's important to consider what you want that Pokémon to do. Is it going to be a fast physical attacker? Maybe a bulky special attacker? Maybe it's just meant to switch in and survive an attack? Depending on what you want to do, the EV spread of your Pokémon will vary. In this case, the Competitive EVs that I chose for Landorus were 4 HP / 252 Attack / 252 Speed, because I want it to be a strong and fast physical attacker. The extra 4 EVs are on HP to help add bulk.
But wait! When I add those EVs up, it only adds to 508 EVs! What about the last two?
Because you need 4 EVs to increase a stat by one point, there will always be two EVs "wasted" out of your 510. For your Pokémon to be considered "fully trained" they'll need to be somewhere, but they won't increase any of your Pokémon's stats.
Now that you know about how EVs can change a Pokémon's stats, we can start talking about how to actually EV train your Pokémon. Fighting against specific Pokémon hundreds of times would eventually accomplish our goal, but that's incredibly inefficient and boring. There are a few mechanics in place that will help us EV train a Pokémon pretty quickly.
First of all, to EV train a Pokémon you need to be sure that it doesn't have any other EVs! Since a Pokémon can only have 510 EVs total, having random EVs on your Pokémon will prevent you from having the perfect EV spread you want. Thankfully, it's really easy to check a Pokémon's EVs in generation 7. Just open the Pokémon's page, and press the Y button! It'll show you a screen like this:
See the little orange border outside the yellow shape? That border represents the Pokémon's EVs. When a Pokémon reaches 510 EVs, that border will become blue, and sparkles will appear around any maxed stats, like this:
If your Pokémon has random IVs like the first picture shows, you need to remove those EVs before you start EV training. There are a couple of ways you can do this, but the easiest and most convenient way is to use the EV Reducing Berries. These berries will reduce EVs in a specific stat when fed to a Pokémon. They are as follows:
|Sp. Attack||Hondew Berry|
|Sp. Defense||Grepa Berry|
These berries can be found at the berry tree on Route 10. Once you've got one of them, head to Isle Aplenny on Poke Pelago, and plant them. It's a pretty slow start, but if you do it right you'll have berries galore and won't have to worry about getting any more of them. If you're having a hard time getting a specific berry on Route 10, save before you interact with the berry pile and soft-reset until you get the one you want.
Each berry will reduce the EVs for a stat by 10. Use berries to remove all of your Pokémon's EVs, and then you'll be able to start putting on the ones that you want. (Note: you don't need to remove EVs for stats that you want to EV train, because you'll be putting them back on later anyways.)
Using Isle Evelup
The easiest method to EV train Pokémon in the 7th generation is by utilizing Isle Evelup, an island in Poke Pelago. However, this method is time-consuming and is best utilized when you want a specific EV spread or when you're passively EV training your Pokémon.
When you first go to Isle Evelup, you'll see a screen like this. Tapping on the little PokeBall sign next to the playground equipment will let you choose Pokémon to train. You'll be asked to select up to six Pokémon to send to the island, and then you'll need to choose which stat you want to train.
After selecting your Pokémon and the stat to train, you'll be able to specify how many "play sessions" you want to do. One play session increases a stay by 4 EVs, or one stat point per session. You can use this to specify exactly how many EVs you want a Pokémon to gain, making it super easy to get very specific EV numbers. Just remember that you can only add 252 EVs to a single stat, meaning that you should never need to go over 63 play sessions.
Unfortunately, completely 63 Play Sessions will take approximately 32 hours. If you use Poke Beans to speed up the process, it'll be knocked down to about 16 hours, but that's still awhile. This is the biggest downside to using Isle Evelup to EV train your Pokémon. However, if you fully upgrade the island, you'll be able to train 18 Pokémon at once. If you're OK with waiting awhile before your Pokémon are battle ready, this method might be right for you.
The quickest method of EV training your Pokémon is to use a mechanic introduced in Generation 7: SOS chains. Defeating a Pokémon in an SOS chain results in receiving twice as many EVs as you normally would. However, to get the most out of this method we'll need to use some more complicated EV mechanics, so let's go over those first.
The first (and arguably most important) mechanic is a group of items called "Power Items". These six items add an extra 8 EVs to whatever EVs the Pokémon holding the item would have normally gained from a battle. The items are as follows:
|Sp. Attack||Power Lens|
|Sp. Defense||Power Band|
These items can be purchased from the Battle Royal Dome for 16 BP each. The effects of these items also stack wth the multiplier that SOS battles have! By combining these mechanics, you gain 1 EV for defeating a Pokémon, plus 8 EVs from the power item, which is doubled by the SOS bonus, giving you 18 EVs for defeating a single Pokémon.
Think that's pretty great? Well, we can still get more EVs using another EV increasing mechanic: Pokérus.
Pokérus is a rare condition that Pokémon can catch. Once a Pokémon has caught Pokérus, it will permanently gain twice as many EVs. While the Pokémon is contagious, it can also pass Pokérus to other Pokémon to spread the EV gains all around. If a Pokémon has Pokérus, they'll have a purple "POKÉRUS" box like this:
When a Pokémon is no longer contagious, the box will be replaced with a pink face. They'll still gain twice the amount of EVs, but they won't be able to infect any other Pokémon with Pokérus. To spread the infection, just put two Pokémon in your party and eventually it will spread. Putting a Pokémon with Pokérus back into your PC will keep it contagious, so it's good to keep at least one Pokémon with Pokérus on hand to infect any other Pokémon you've got.
(Note: Pokérus is pretty rare to find on your own, but it's not very difficult to get a Pokémon with it over Wonder Trade or the GTS. If you do have a hard time, try asking for help on our trading forums!)
Pokérus's effects stack on top of all the other stats we've talked about, meaning that you can gain a whopping 36 EVs from defeating a single Pokémon. That's pretty fantastic! Assuming your Pokémon has all the bonuses, you only need to defeat 7 Pokémon in an SOS battle to max out a stat (or 14 Pokémon if you don't have Pokérus).
Now that you know how it works, check this list to see what Pokémon you should battle:
|Stat||Power Item||Pokémon and Location|
|HP||Power Weight||Grimer - Malie City|
|Attack||Power Bracer||Yungoos or Pikipek - Route 1|
|Defense||Power Belt||Exeggcute - Exeggcutor Island|
|Sp. Atk||Power Lens||Magnemite - Trainers' School|
|Sp. Def||Power Band||Tentacool - Route 7|
|Speed||Power Anklet||Spearow - Route 2|
Before heading out, you'll need two things:
A strong Pokémon to do the fighting in the SOS battles. More likely than not, you're going to be EV training newly hatched Pokémon, and they won't be able to manage very well on their own. Thankfully, the EXP share doesn't just share experience- it gives EVs too! If your EXP share is turned on, every Pokémon in your party will gain EVs. Because of this, you can EV train up to 5 Pokémon at once, assuming you've got 5 power items.
The only requirement for your lead Pokémon is that it needs to have the move false swipe and another move it can use to KO weak Pokémon. However, Pokémon with the abilities Pressure, Unnerve, or Intimidate also are useful because they cause enemy Pokémon to call for help more often. I'd recommend using Weavile, because it has the ability Pressure and it can learn the move Beat Up, which can KO Magnemite with the Sturdy ability.
- Adrenaline Orbs. These are super important for SOS battles! If you use one in battle, it increases the odds of the opponent calling for help. You can buy Adrenaline Orbs from any Pokémon Center. They're pretty cheap so it's not a huge hassle to get a bunch.
Once you've got your strong Pokémon at the front of your party, the Pokémon you want to EV train in the remaining slots (with Pokérus + power items), and you've got a few Adrenaline Orbs, you're ready to go!
Step 1: Get an encounter
This part is pretty easy. Just head to wherever the Pokémon you're going to fight can be found. However, it's important to avoid any battles before you encounter that Pokémon. If you encounter a random wild Pokémon, just run away. However, trainer battles are problematic. The best solution is to turn off the EXP share until you're ready to start EV training- none of the Pokémon in your party will gain any of the random EVs you might accidentally pick up.
Step 2: Start the chain
Once you've gotten in the right area and have your EXP share on, encounter the Pokémon you need to fight against. Run away from any other Pokémon. When you run into the Pokémon you're looking for, start off the battle by using False Swipe to bring it to 1 HP. After that, use an Adrenaline Orb. If the Pokémon calls for help, KO the new Pokémon and leave the one with 1 HP. If it doesn't call from help, just keep waiting until the opponent does.
(Note: you can "skip" a turn by using an Adrenaline Orb again- it will take up the turn but won't actually remove the item from your inventory, making it super easy to wait for the wild Pokémon to call for help.)
Step 3: Repeat
Once you've got the chain going, you just need to keep KOing Pokémon until you've maxed out a stat. If the Pokémon you're EV training has Pokérus, that means you need 7 KOs. If it doesn't, you'll need to rack up 14 KOs. Either way, that's pretty quick and shouldn't take you over an hour. After you've finished, swap power items, head to a different location, and train whichever other stats you want to max.
Once you've finished EV training, check your Pokémon's stats to see if the yellow border has turned blue, and if the stats you maxed are sparkling. If they aren't, you might need to check to be sure that your Pokémon doesn't have EVs in any other stats, and then make sure that you battled the correct number of Pokémon. (Note: While it only takes 508 EVs to max your Pokémon's stats, it will take 510 EVs to change the yellow border to blue.)
SOS chaining and Isle Evelup are the two most common ways to EV train in Generation 7, but there are some other ways you can increase a Pokémon's EVs as well. The first of these methods is using stat-boosting items. Each of these items boosts a Pokémon's EVs for a specific stat, similar to the berries that reduce them. Vitamins give a boost of 10 EVs, while wings give one EV. The vitamins can be purchased from the Battle Royal Dome for 2 BP, and wings can be dropped from bird Pokémon.
|Sp. Attack||Genius Wing|
|Sp. Defense||Clever Wing|
Using vitamins might sound like a good way to max out your Pokémon's EVs (especially if you have a lot of BP saved up). However, vitamins won't work after a Pokémon has 100 EVs in that stat. Wings don't have this limit, but gathering hundreds of them is super time consuming. Overall, the SOS and Isle Evelup methods are both more productive than using EV boosting items on your Pokémon.
You can also boost a Pokémon's EVs using Festival Plaza. Bouncy House facilities will give you the option to boost a Pokémon's EVs, but in order for it to be efficient you need to have facilities with high rankings. Food Stalls can give the same effect as vitamins, but without the 100 EV cap. While these methods can be convenient, it's usually easier to just use SOS battles or Isle Evelup to train your Pokémon.
EVs might be a bit confusing at first, but after reading through this guide I hope I've helped you understand how important they can be. If you're looking to get into competitive battling, it's essential that you know how EVs work, and how they help a Pokémon. I'd also recommend you read our Basic Breeding Guide and Advanced Breeding Guide to learn how to breed competitively viable Pokémon.
Competitive battling might be a little daunting at first, but it's something that you'll get the hang of as you keep practicing. If you have any questions, or if something wasn't made clear in this guide, feel free to leave a comment below!